Local Docs First In Kern County With New Device

Device Will Benefit Surgeons, Patients At Memorial Hospital

A relatively new device designed to help surgeons see blood supply during surgery has made its way to Bakersfield.

SPY is a blood supply imaging system developed by Novadaq Technologies to give surgeons state-of-the-art medical advantages.

Until now, local doctors used various techniques during surgery to try to determine blood supply, but the SPY system used by Dr. Vipul Dev, M.D., at Memorial Hospital will help take out the guess work in determining blood supply. He said it could help reduce scarring and increase healing time in patients.

"Because most of what we do depends on blood supply, if we don't have a good blood supply we don't know how things are going to heal -- more importantly -- it's hard for us to predict how things are going to heal without this device," said Dev, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

In the past, surgeons have used Doppler ultra-sound and most recently computer tomography (CT) scanning to assist the identification process. However, since perforator vessels are so small, Doppler ultra-sound has often been ineffective and CT cannot be performed in the operating room. The SPY System is the only fluorescent imaging system that enables plastic surgeons to visually assess blood flow in conjoined vessels, micro-vasculature and related tissue perfusion in real-time.

Medical experts said locating the most appropriate perforator vessel is critical to achieving successful outcomes, but is often a lengthy process for the surgeon and OR team.

The SPY procedure uses a fluorescent agent, called IC-Green, which emits light when stimulated by a safe, low-powered infrared laser. This light, or "fluorescence," is captured in the form of a moving image, which instantly shows whether your artery is still blocked or if the bypass graft is working properly, according to a press release from Novadaq Technologies.

After the dye is injected into the patient the OR lights are dimmed so the device can reveal the results on a computer monitor. The area that has little or no blood supply on the patient will be dark. The area with the most blood will illuminate.

“Now, Dr. Dev is able to see areas that he may have a complication and removing added complications could reduce OR time. In reconstructive surgery, the complication rate, depending on the procedure, can be anywhere between 15 to 30 percent. Surgeons who use the SPY system may only see a 5 percent complication rate,” said Justin Sullivan, of Novadaq Technologies.

Novadaq Technologies commercializes real-time imaging and image guidance systems for use in the operating room.

“The device can be used for most cosmetic procedures, but patients needing reconstructive surgery after a traumatic accident, will greatly benefit,” said Dev.

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